Industrialist Mukesh Ambani and his family in Mumbai can continue to have security provided by the central government, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday, dismissing a case challenging the provision.
Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli allowed the appeal of the central government challenging the Tripura High Court’s direction on a Public Interest Litigation or PIL.
Late last month, the court had put on hold the orders of the Tripura High Court on the petition challenging the security provided to the industrialist and his family in Mumbai.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the centre, had said that the petitioner Bikash Saha in Tripura has nothing to do with the security of individuals provided in Mumbai.
The Tripura High Court passed two interim orders on May 31 and June 21 and asked the central government to place the original file maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding the threat perception and assessment report of Mr Ambani, his wife and children based on which security has been granted to them.
Overruling the high court’s orders, the Supreme Court cancelled the case and said there was no justification for it to be heard.
India’s second-richest man and at the helm of the vast Reliance Industries business empire, Mukesh Ambani is one of the country’s most protected individuals.
Mr Ambani has “Z+ security” and his wife Nita Ambani has Y+, for which they pay. Z+ is the highest category of security cover accorded to the likes of Presidents, Prime Ministers and a few others.
Under this, around 50-55 armed commandos belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) guard India’s richest man round the clock.
The protectee also gets a bulletproof car, escort in three shifts and additional security when required. Additional cover of National Security Guard (NSG) commandos can also be provided if required.
A pilot and follow-on vehicles with commandos armed with sophisticated weapons are always with Mr Ambani every time he moves in Mumbai or any other part of the country.
The security cover is provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs based on the threat perception. Its level is decided by inputs received from intelligence agencies.
In a rare security scare that is the subject of an ongoing investigation, an abandoned car was found with explosives near Mr Ambani’s home last year, unravelling a major conspiracy that involved former policemen.